Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The bizarre case of Duane Hurley and Daniel Kovarbasich

Reaction to Danny's Release

Duane Hurley's neighbors, among others, were shocked when he learned that Danny Kovarbasich had been released from jail. Many people, including Hurley's friends, do not believe the allegations of molestation, and Hurley's family contends that he was not a pedophile. Similarly, despite an intensive investigation into Hurley's background that went back decades in his life, investigators said that the only evidence of a sexual relationship between Danny and Hurley had come from Danny's own allegations. No one else had ever made such charges against Hurley. The alleged child pornography found on Hurley's computer, though damaging, did not prove a sexual relationship between Hurley and Danny despite its suggestiveness. Some of Hurley's friends believe that Danny has received a free pass despite the severity of his actions.

Duane Hurley
Duane Hurley

"I was amazed because it's unbelievable," Ray Kleinsmith told a Fox 8 News reporter. "How do you do that? I mean, somebody killed a guy like that and just walks out with basically no time at far as I'm concerned, he should be locked up for life."

"If anybody says being incarcerated for upwards of two years plus further incarceration in a treatment facility, an intensive treatment facility, is a free pass, I don't necessarily agree," Stepanik said. "I mean, he went through something terrible, he did something terrible, so what do we do? We can't just throw him away....He is still a child although the law says he's an adult. He did not want to admit what happened to him, but eventually had to."

According to Assistant Lorain County Prosecutor Tony Cillo, the prosecutor's office was unaware of the judge's decision to release Danny until they heard about it through media sources. He said the prosecutor's office did not provide any input about it prior to the judge making his decision. Cillo declined to say anything else.

Prosecutors had objected to Burge's original sentence of probation and had filed an appeal, which was denied. Similarly, North Ridgeville Police Chief Richard Thomas did not agree with Burge's sentence.

"I thought the sentence was grossly inadequate for what the young man did," Thomas said.

According to Burge's sentence, Danny could remain in treatment until he turns 21.


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